7 Graduate Employers Offering Work Placements in 2021 | Top Universities

7 Graduate Employers Offering Work Placements in 2021

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Chloe Lane

Updated Mar 08, 2021



Placement year main image

A placement year is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience from an employer of your choice. Some courses might have compulsory placement years whereas others may be optional.

During your placement year – sometimes called a ‘year in industry’ – you’ll be supported by your university and will usually get access to campus support and resources. 

The year’s work experience will put you in good stead for a bagging a top graduate role after university and many students use it as a chance to work abroad for a year.

Here are just a few top companies offering work placements in 2021: 




L’Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics company. It owns 36 brands including Armani, Kiel’s, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Valentino and Lancôme.

It is the number one graduate employer in retail this year according to Rate My Placement and is present in over 150 countries. 

Where placements are based:

Placements are mainly based in London, UK but there are opportunities to pursue internships in France, Singapore, the US and China.

What opportunities are on offer?

L’Oréal are offering placements across a range of departments. These include business development, commercial, corporate affairs, digital, events, finance, HR generalist, learning, marketing, PR, retail design, retail commercial and supply chain.

In 2021, L’Oréal will be paying work placement students £20,000 per year (approximately US$26,330). 

Roles on offer include:

Marketing Industrial Placement 2021: London, UK

Finance Industrial Placement 2021: Llantrisant, Wales

6-month Business intelligence Analyst InternshipParis, France 

What they’re looking for:

L’Oréal say they’re looking for “determined achievers who are ready to throw themselves into major responsibilities from the start.” 

Citi Group

Citi Group

Citi Group is an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, with headquarters in New York City. It’s the most popular student employer for investment banking this year according to Rate My Placement.

Where placements are based:
Citi Group offer a wide range of placement opportunities around the world, in Germany, Ireland, the UK, Sweden, France, Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, the Philippines and the US.

What opportunities are on offer?

There are 21 placement roles on offer in 2021 at the time of writing. While the majority of these are related to investment banking, there are several for sales and marketing, operations and technology, and finance.

What they’re looking for:

They’re looking for a students with drive, commitment and a passion for learning. 

Find out more about career opportunities at Citi group.



Savills is a global real estate services provider with 39,000 employees in more than 70 countries around the world. They are the top-ranking graduate employer for real estate according to Rate My Placement.

Where placements are based:

Savills’ student work placements are based in the UK, mainly in London and its surrounding areas but other internships and work experience opportunities are available around the world.

What opportunities are on offer?

Currently, Savills only has three placement roles available, but these are extremely wide ranging and cover several different aspects of real estate roles, including business management, rural property, town planning and surveying. 

The roles currently on offer are:

Surveying (Commercial, Residential and Development) Sandwich Placement

Town Planning Sandwich Placement 

Food and Farming Sandwich Placement

What they’re looking for:

On their website, Savills writes that they’re looking for individualism and diversity and for you to be yourself. 

View more information about the placements on offer at Savills

Capital One

Capital One

Capital One is a bank holding company with headquarters in the United States. It specializes in banking, savings accounts, credit cards and auto loans. 

Where placements are based:

Placements are based in the UK, in London and Nottingham

What opportunities are on offer?

Capital One currently has two summer internship roles and one placement year on offer. However, the work experience placements cover a wide base.

For example, the Software Academy placement covers everything in software engineering “from APIs to mobile, big data to cyber security.” 

Interns and placement holders will receive a salary of up to £25,000 pro rata (approximately $32,800), plus a £3,000 joining bonus (approximately US$3,940).

Roles on offer include:

Software Academy Placement

Strategy Analyst internship

Software Academy internship

What they’re looking for:

They’re looking for graduates who can use numbers and information to make good decisions, research and communicate ideas and work well in different situations. Depending on the role there may be some technical knowledge required, such as being able to code. 

Find out more about Capital One’s placements 



Unilever own around 400 brands which can be found in households around the world. Popular Unilever brands include Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Rexona, Hellmann’s and Vaseline.

Where roles are based:

Unilever is a global company and has offices around the world including the Netherlands, the US, India, the UK, Singapore, Mexico, France, Bolivia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.

Although Unilever may not offer placement years across all of these locations, there are other opportunities for work experience, such as their various internships around the world.  

What opportunities are on offer?

There will be placement roles available across many departments at Unilever including supply chain and development, finance, HR, marketing, communications and sustainable business.

You can sign up here to get notified when Unilever’s 2021 placements become available. Placements for 2021 will start in June, so opportunities are likely to go live in the next month or two.  



Airbus is a European multinational aerospace corporation with headquarters in the Netherlands. It is the world’s largest airliner manufacturer.

Where roles are based:

Airbus offer year-long work placements in the UK and internships in France, Germany and Spain. These will last between three months and one year.

What opportunities are on offer?

Airbus offer work placements and internships across all areas of their business, from project management to supply chain sourcing to production engineering. You can view the full list here.

What they’re looking for:

On their website, Airbus state that they’re looking for highly motivated individuals with exceptional team working skills.

They’ll be looking for individuals with work experience, extra-curricular activities, ICT, digital and data management skills, analytical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. 

The Walt Disney Company


Disney aims to entertain, inform and inspire people around the world with their storytelling. They make TV shows, movies and have Disney theme parks and resorts. 

Where roles are based

They have work experience opportunities available in Canada, the UK and the United States.

What opportunities are on offer?

The Walt Disney Company have placement opportunities in accounting and finance; brand and consumer insights; business and sales; buying trends and licensing; charitable programs and community engagement and finance.

Although placements aren’t yet open, you can register your interest on the Rate My Placement website to get alerts when they open.

What they’re looking for

Although what they’re looking for depends on the particular opportunity, generally Disney want you to have the ability to work well under pressure, pay close attention to detail, communicate with people at all levels in a professional manner and meet deadlines.

Find out more about the career opportunities available at Disney here.

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